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Dr. Shahab: Sask. Residents need to get used to wearing non-medical masks

Dr. Sakib Shahab, Chief Medical Officer, Saskatchewan. (screenshot)

All Saskatchewan residents need to consider wearing a mask, especially if they are in places where social distance is not guaranteed, said the Saskatchewan chief medical officer on Tuesday.

Dr. Sakib Shahab’s comment was made during Tuesday’s media briefing on Phase 4.2 of the reopened Saskatchewan program on Monday, June 29.

As part of the updated Resume Guidelines, employees of certain companies within 2 meters of their clients are required to wear non-medical masks.

The state said vulnerable or immunocompromised employees should wear procedural or surgical masks.

This includes restaurants, gyms and other personal service workers.

But workers are not the only ones to consider using masks.

“Giving that space is important,” Shahab said.

“In an environment where you feel you can’t keep a distance of 2 meters, it’s good to always have the mask in your pocket. If you can’t keep that distance, wear a mask.”

All residents are advised to carry one or two reusable non-medical masks for use in the bus or any store that cannot keep that distance.

Some non-medical masks, such as cloth masks, can be cleaned and removed.

Guidance on wearing a mask is given when other controls are relaxed.

“Controls have a hierarchy,” Shahab explained. “The first is not to engage in the activity. Second, there is administrative control—do it in a way that is less crowded.”

He also pointed out designed controls such as Plexiglas shields used in checkout counters.

“All of these layers are important.”

He said the most important thing is to maintain a physical distance. It is at this point that an additional layer of protection may be needed.

However, wearing a mask is no excuse for getting closer than two meters. Although Canadian officials don’t always require the use of masks, Shahab expects Saskatchewan residents to begin practicing, just as they learned how to physically distance them. I said that.

“We need to make it clear that this is a 12-18 month marathon,” Shahab said.

“Why don’t I wear a mask when I’m sure no one is 5 meters away when I go out for a walk. I’m not at risk and nobody is at risk to me.” If you go to the other settings, it should make sense to wear a mask. There is a lot of good evidence… The use of a mask can significantly reduce transparency.”

Shahab said the pandemic lasts for months until the vaccine is created, or until it slowly depletes the host and dies.

If a new incident occurs later this year, he said, the chances of a closure like that seen in spring are unlikely.

This makes the guidelines for wearing masks even more important.

The event takes place outside of summer, although less often, residents need to get used to it.

“Where we hold it, how to properly put it on and take it off-we shouldn’t always be offended…these are some habits that need to get used to practice,” he said.

“It needs to be understood and considered by us as this will be very important for the fall we move indoors. We all have what masks to take for ourselves and our families. We need to think about what we want to put in. We all need to be comfortable about when and how to use the mask. I think it’s good to start thinking about it.”

So far, the state has no plans to provide masks to its residents as it did through partnerships with Alberta’s drive-through operators. According to Shahab, many people sell cloth masks and I tried to make them myself at home but it didn’t work.


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